Obituary: Billye Lee Elder

Billye Lee Elder of El Paso and Valentine passed away at her home in Valentine on Friday, Jan. 9, 2015 in the very house where she was born. She was 95.

The oldest daughter of Howard Laben Bell of Valentine and Annie Laura Lee of Odessa, Billye was born on April 10, 1919 and raised in Valentine. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from Mary Hardin Baylor College in Belton, Texas in 1940. Upon graduation, she began teaching physical education in the Valentine public schools before marrying Hal Elder from Bogota, Texas in 1942.

After moving to El Paso, she spent 38 years with the El Paso Independent School District as a physical education teacher and coach, which also included special education for students in need and was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award in May 1981.

Billye loved to travel, meet new friends, and readily accepted whatever life brought her. She was well known and respected as a mother and friend to all who walked through her door. Her profound patience and attention to the needs of others was exceeded only by her intense devotion to her family. She will be sincerely missed by all those blessed to have known her.

She is survived by her three sons, the artist Harold Boyd Elder of Valentine, Kenneth Mack Elder of Ruidoso, New Mexico, and Howard Stanton Elder of Valentine; three grandchildren, Flaunn Jameison of Kona, Hawaii, Shaula Elder of Austin, and Soren Elder Thompson of Ruidoso, New Mexico; and two great-grandsons, Lakoda and Rhyder Jameison of Kona, Hawaii.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Hal Elder.

Due to the distance people would have to travel, a memorial service in her honor will be announced in the near future.